Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron had played together over several decades by the time this CD was recorded, one of many duo dates they've done. "Who Knows" is not one of Thelonious Monk's better-known works, but their aggressive and very playful approach to it should invite other musicians to explore it as well. On the other hand, "Blue Monk" is more reserved, with Lacy testing the limits of his instrument and Waldron's bluesy solo. A strident take of Charles Mingus' "Peggy's Blue Skylight" is immediately followed by his rather obscure "Smooch," a haunting ballad made even more so by Lacy's plaintive tone. Their treatment of another overlooked song, Elmo Hope's "Roll On," is also inspired. Each musician also contributed originals to the date. Waldron's mournful "No More Tears" and Lacy's repetitive but infectious blues "Wickets" invite repeated listenings, while each man has a solo feature as well. Like all collaborations featuring Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron together, this Soul Note CD is highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden